- Posted by Editor
- On December 13, 2019
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We’re expanding to fulfill ‘made in Nigeria’ dream, Premium Steel CEO
By Tega Uloho
MANAGING Director and Chief Executive Officer of Premium Steel and Mines Limited, Mr. Prasanta Mishra has maintained that the steel industry needs the support of government in the area of ‘ease of doing business’ template so as to grow the economy, stressing that Nigeria can be greater with make in Nigeria products in line with the President Buhari’s vision of industrial revolution in the country as Premium Steel was expanding its operational content in order to realize the ‘make in Nigeria’ dream.
Addressing newsmen on his return from a business trip abroad, Mr. Mishra disclosed that the resuscitation plans for Premium Steel and Mines Limited, former Delta Steel Company, Ovwian-Aladja, Delta State was going to be completed by June 2021 if the current resuscitation programme is sustained, assuring that the company would be producing high quality and grades of steel products in the years ahead.
He disclosed that there was need to encourage development of the manufacturing sector just as it was during the ”first National Development plan of (1962-1968) when the federal government introduced the Import Substitution Industrialization Strategy (ISI) but it has lost its objective. We should domestically produce goods that were hitherto imported into the economy so as to conserve foreign exchange. This is what PSML intends to achieve by producing all steel and steel products in Nigeria.
”Implementation of the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), promotion of innovation and technological industries and encouraging the development of resource-processing industries with incentives to include improving access to finance through the banking sector that will support manufacturing firms through low-cost lending are the needed impetus for industrial growth in Nigeria. This would go a long way to augment the economy and fulfill the ‘make in Nigeria ‘dream. That is why we continue to insist that the Steel industry needs the support of government in more of ‘ease of doing business’ template and fast track solutions to boost the Nigerian economy.
”At Premium Steel, we are doing total turn around maintenance of the plant, wholistic development of the Schools and hospitals as well as other areas of intervention of the company towards giving the best to the people. We are ready to partner with local Governments through various means to eradicate unemployment and create a platform of engaging the communities in productive and mutually rewarding ways”, Mr. Mishra added.
”As I stated in an earlier brief, we are doing a total turn-around of the company with installation of modern equipment just as we have continued to impact on the immediate community where we operate through our Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. The Rolling Mill is working at full blast and the next in line is the SMS shop which will guarantee local production of billets. When we came, we discovered that the former investors did serious damage to the SMS and we are doing everything possible to ensure we get the SMS back on stream. We are targeting the third quarter of next year for the SMS to come on-stream and by June 2021, the entire plant would have been activated. When PSML took over the plant, we met just 5 staff on board. Today, with the level of work done so far to bring the plant to life, we have over 500 staff principally sourced from the Nigerian labour market. By the time the SMS is activated and the other sectors fully back to production level, we shall be talking of over 5,000 direct and indirect staff in the plant. So it is not fair to suggest that the plant was in bad shape”, Mr. Mishra added.
He called on the Federal Government to promote business-friendly policies to stimulate industrial growth so as to guarantee a robust business climate in Nigeria, stressing that the company was fully prepared to meet with the House of Representatives Committee on Steel Development as that would provide ample opportunity to share the company experiences with the federal lawmakers.
He assured further that Premium Steel and Mines Limited will not rest on her oars until all the sectors of the plant are fully activated to provide the needed steel development template for industrial growth in Nigeria.